Netflix reportedly launching in South Korea next January
Having established a foothold in its home country, much of Europe and Australia, the US-based Netflix is now shifting its focus to Asia, with the company reportedly planning to expand its streaming service to South Korea next January.
According to the Korea Times, Netflix will launch in the famously tech-savvy country with the help of local partners.
“Netflix will make its debut in Korea in January 2016,” the publication was told by an unidentified insider, while another anonymous source added that the company is “seeking to form strategic partnerships with Korean mobile carriers and leading terrestrial broadcasters.”
After originally operating as a DVD rental service, the company began its online streaming service back in 2007 and in recent years has been aggressively expanding abroad. This year alone it has launched in New Zealand, Australia and, just last week, Japan. By the end of the year, the streaming service will also have a presence in Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Netflix’s plan of working together with mobile carriers in South Korea is similar to its strategy in Japan, where it has teamed up with local service provider Softbank, who pre-installs the Netflix app on smartphones in the region.
On paper, South Korea is the ideal country for an online streaming service thanks to it having the fastest internet speeds in the world. However, the Korea Times was told that Netflix needs “substantial” help from Korean carriers due to the high cost of content delivery on the country’s robust internet combined with the relatively low cost of the service itself.
Netflix did not respond to request for comment.